kali-yuga-odyssey“Let me ask you guys something else about Bhagwan”, said Stephanie. “How can he claim to be a spiritual leader while he collects Rolls Royces by the dozen – last I heard it was thirty three?”

“Well, they are not really his”, said one of the sannyasins. They belong to a foundation. Most of them have been received as gifts.”

“Well, he doesn’t have to keep them, does he?” I asked.

“Does that bother you?”, said one of the sannyasins aggressively.

“He can do what he likes with them for my sake”, I countered. “But he’s got enough problems selling his message. Why does he give ammunition to his opponents?”

“Look”, said the other sannyasin, obviously a little uptight, as we had apparently hit a nerve: “His point is that it just doesn’t matter. Material things mean nothing to Bhagwan. It’s a provocation, that’s all. He’s just saying ‘Look. You can do this too.’ ”

The other sannyasin cut in:

“It’s all a joke, man, it’s all one big joke.”

“So, if it’s all the same”, said Stephanie. “you might as well have a life in luxury, huh?”

The two sannyasins were not amused, but we were having fun. I got a sudden inspiration:

“Tell you what. Let’s see what the cards say”, I said, as I pulled out my pack of Tarot cards, which I had picked up in London just a few days ago. I had purchased a book on the Tarot the previous week and was just beginning to lay cards for people. The Tarot had been used for hundreds of years by seers, and the result depended to a great extent upon the intuitive capabilities of the card layer. I was still a novice, but anyway, I went boldly ahead.

“You cannot use the Tarot on Bhagwan”, said the first sannyasin rather sharply.

“How’s that?”, I asked.

“It doesn’t work on the great teachers. Above a certain level, the cards cannot be used.”

“Well, it’s just for fun”, I said.

“Yeah, let’s to it”, said Stephanie enthusiastically.

So I shuffled the cards and laid out the Celtic cross arrangement of the cards for Bhagwan.

I studied the cards carefully before beginning my interpretation. A number of people had gathered around our table by this time, and whispered to each other:

“It’s for Bhagwan!”

“Very interesting”, I said finally:

“We see here a man of great initiative, shown by the Ace of Wands as the major influence.

His work is based upon a combination of great wisdom, as shown by the Hermit here, and great love as shown by the Queen of Cups here”, I added, pointing to the cards.

“The Knight of Cups in the position of past influence shows that he has brought great vision into his work. The end result we see here in the conclusion card, the Seven of Pentacles, and in the hope card, the nine of Pentacles. Pentacles of course, represent money. His initiative has been quite profitable”, I said, looking around. They were all very silent as they listened carefully.

“Now the Seven of Wands and the Eight of Wands in the positions corresponding to the near future and the environment, indicate great change, but not without conflict. Bhagwan is making an impact, but not without resistance. It is interesting here that we see the Death card in the position of personal attitude, in view of the fact that Bhagwan has just announced his intention to leave his body. In summary then, we have a picture of a man of great initiative, creating wealth based on vision, wisdom and love, but meeting resistance.” I looked up for reactions.

“I like it”, chipped in one of the observers.

“Very nice”, said another.

I didn’t want to push my luck so I gathered the cards together before too many questions were asked. I could see the first sannyasin was preparing an attack.

I took Stephanie’s arm, stood up, and walked towards the living room with her.

“What’s the hurry?”, asked Stephanie with raised eyebrows.

“Just a feeling”, I said. “What I did there was pretty brassy, you know. It was the first time I tried laying the cards in public. I’m only one question deep.”

She was beaming:

“But you were good”, she said.

“I was lucky. You were good”, I replied. “I liked the `ugh’.”

We both shook with laughter.

“And the thirty three Rolls!”, I added.

We laughed even harder.

“Does he really have that many?” I asked, laughing.

“I have no idea”, she said between the giggles.

I laughed so hard the tears ran down my cheeks.